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Oral History and the Beginning and End of the Gospel of Mark

journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-29, 23:03 authored by Benjamin ChenowethBenjamin Chenoweth
The textual status of Mark’s Gospel, specifically the fact that the beginning and end of this gospel were lost at a very early stage, sheds light on the period of time when the stories concerning Jesus’s ministry, death, and resurrection were being transmitted orally. It is proposed that during this time the oral history of Jesus came to include an overarching ‘gospel’ structure, and that Mark’s Gospel is essentially a snapshot of this oral history, marginally altered as Mark personally retold the account of Jesus within the bounds permitted by those exercising control over the oral history. Support for these interrelated proposals comes from the fact that Mark’s Gospel sustained damage and was not immediately repaired: it was not seen as replacing the oral history of the eyewitnesses. However, later (when the eyewitnesses were dying out) Mark’s Gospel was rescued, copied, and circulated, but only in its already damaged form.

History

Journal

Evangelical Quarterly

Volume

90

Pagination

24-37

ISSN

0014-3367

eISSN

2772-5472

Publication classification

C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Issue

1

Publisher

Brill

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